January/February 1996, p.6
West Brooklyn In Ruins?
T.A. and the Gowanus Community Coalition scored big gains in late '95 as a host of elected officials joined our call for a Major Investment Study to be performed before the State Department of Transportation spends $800 million and seven years to rebuild and expand Brooklyn's Gowanus Expressway.
Starting in 1999, the State DOT intends to divert over 4,000 cars and trucks an hour from the Gowanus onto West Brooklyn streets already suffering serious traffic congestion. According to the States seriously flawed "Environmental Assessment," these vehicles will have "no significant impact" on the surrounding communities of Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Park Slope.
Only a Major Investment Study will answer questions about the social and economic impacts of Gowanus construction on West Brooklyn and be grounded in community participation. It will also look at options like using Gowanus project money to improve N and R train service, thus getting people out of their cars.
T.A. and the Gowanus Coalition are asking the State to take four specific actions to preserve neighborhood integrity during construction, and to ensure that transportation dollars are invested wisely:
1. Perform a Major Investment
Politicians Get In Gear
Leading the political charge
for a Major Investment Study is Representative Nydia Velazquez of Sunset Park.
She convinced Congress to ask the State for comprehensive environmental review
and a community engineer, and is asking US DOT secretary Federico Pena to come
to Brooklyn to look at the Gowanus.
Where Are Howard Golden and Rudy Giuliani?
The Gowanus project will directly affect some 400,000 Brooklynites and the health and welfare of the Borough for decades. It is past time that Borough President Howard Golden end his silence and strongly endorse the community's requests. Golden should enlist the help of the Mayor and the City DOT, which is already concerned about the State's slipshod environmental review. It's up to TA's Brooklyn members to write or fax the Borough President. Tell him to ask the State Department of Transportation to perform a Major Investment Study.
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